Monthly Archives: March 2014

The 15 Best Legal Technology Blogs To Follow

The 15 Best Legal Technology Blogs To Follow

The landscape of legal technology is changing so rapidly that it’s important for counsel to know exactly which resources can help them keep up better. Here’s a list of the 15 best blogs to follow about technology and its uses and applications in the legal world.

1. iPhone J.D. iPhone J.D.

Taking the idea of legal technology to a more personal level, this blog covers the best apps, phone accessories and operating systems for use by lawyers. In an industry that’s growing increasingly reliant on smartphones, this blog is invaluable for maximizing your technology.

2. Catalyst Repository Systems’ eDiscovery Search Blog

Containing some of the most up-to-date eDiscovery content on the web, this blog focuses not just on electronic discovery in the big picture, but specifically on search functionality. This is a primary component of eDiscovery, and often misunderstood.

3. Ars Technica

Whether inherently interested in technology or specifically wanting to learn more about how tech intersects with business, law and the resultant legal policies, this site covers it all with more insight than most.

4. Future Lawyer

http://www.futurelawyer.com/

As the name implies, the blog posts at Future Lawyer examines predictions about likely changes in usage and policy for the future. Of course, there’s also plenty of discussion on the current uses of legal technology.

5. 3 Geeks and a Law Blog

3 Geeks and a Law Blog focuses specifically on information management as it relates to law. Perhaps surprisingly, relevant topics include library sciences, general knowledge management and even Internet marketing.

6. Above and Beyond KM

This award-winning blog talks about knowledge management as well. Typical topics address social media, technology in the legal world and a number of related subjects.

7. Ball in Your Court

Written by an electronic evidence expert and certified computer forensic examiner, this blog offers a true insider’s perspective on legal technology.

8. LawSites

This possibly should have ben #1 on the list, since it’s a blog devoted entirely to sharing useful, relevant law-related websites with other legal professionals.

9. TechnoLawyer

All manners of legal technology are discussed in the TechnoLawyer, including any applicable new theories that are getting put into practice. Membership is required, but it’s free (and it’s worth it).

10. Sophisticated Litigation Support Blog

This blog offers comprehensive commentary on litigation support, eDiscovery, digital forensics and related fields.

11. Advocate’s Studio

Boston attorney Martha Sperry offers tips and tricks for embracing the digital age. Her posts talk about everything from the best legal apps, how to maximize Dropbox, going paperless and navigating cloud computing.

12. TabletLegal http://www.tabletlegal.com/

Although it may be too niche for some, TabletLegal is a newcomer on the blogging scene that’s proving to be an invaluable resource for any attorney who uses an iPad as a professional tool. Many of the posts offer useful how-to guides you can’t find anywhere else.

13. ABA Tech Show Blog

This blog covers a number of interesting subjects where legal technology and legal process intersect. Discussions range from practical tips about discontinued support for Windows XP to the use of Adobe’s fillable forms in a legal capacity.

14. BlawgIT

This site focuses largely on Internet law, but also discusses issues related to patenting, trademarks and copyright law.

15. Attorney at Work

Attorney at Work offers tips for running a legal practice, many of which relate to technology. With readers enjoying a new post every day, this blog is one of the most prolific in the legal industry.

 

Considering Shared Services For Your Business? Here are 10 Quick Tips

Considering Shared Services For Your Business? Here are 10 Quick Tips

Bringing functions together in a shared services model offers a number of clear benefits – including trimming down excess IT costs and enjoying more centralized daily operations. Yet, in order to maximize that potential, it’s important to follow these 10 tips:

1.  Plan Ahead Shared Services

It’s a good idea for companies to plan ahead before implementing any new process, and this typically starts at the management level before working its way down. Establishing clear policies before adopting shared services will help ensure a smoother transition.

2. Incorporate Change Management

Change management is dedicated to meticulous supervision of the complexities during a major change down to the last detail. By making a commitment to include official change management structure rather than just fumbling along, organizations can ease the conversion process and avoid the blame game.

3. Use Crystal Clear SLAs

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlines the vendor terms for providing shared services. Taking the time up front to ensure that the SLA covers all the necessary bases in a clear and concise manner is essential to moving forward, and can prevent a lot of headaches down the road.

4. Track Performance Metrics

Having an objective measurement system in place to track whether the projected goals are being met is critical for assessing total progress. This data helps to show what’s working and what isn’t so that an action plan can be developed to switch gears if needed.

5. Define Roles and Processes

Any organization-wide change in processes requires a new definition of duties and expectations for workforce and management alike. Existing processes that are faulty or broken may be improved, but only if everyone is on board and understands what is expected of them.

6. Look for Expertise

In the restructuring that often follows (or precedes) the adoption of shared services, it’s inevitable that some employees may be reshuffled laterally or even downsized. Before making any major decisions, be sure to review the existing talent base within the organization to ensure that key individuals with high levels of expertise are correctly leveraged to maximize their potential.

7. Don’t Forget Risk Management

Although the benefits of sharing services are many, that doesn’t mean that it’s a zero-risk venture. Be sure to limit potential risks and vulnerabilities to ensure a successful outcome.

8. Maximize Momentum

When first discussing the switch to any new process, enthusiasm is often a driving factor. It’s important to make decisions while high levels of motivation are still in evidence, otherwise organizations may find themselves trapped by inertia instead.

9. Look at the Long-Term

While the potential savings that shared services may allow are very possible, they may not be immediate. It’s important to stay patient, continue tracking improvements and trust that the long-term rewards will win out in the end. Of course, if the numbers indicate that the long-term isn’t shaping up as projected, adjustments will need to be made along the way.

10. Know the Limitations

Not everything can be resolved through shared services. Having a solid grasp on the realistic scope of the projected changes will help make sure that nothing falls through the cracks inadvertently, and that all target areas are being handled efficiently and as planned.

 

10 Reasons Why You Must Invest in eDiscovery

10 Reasons Why You Must Invest in eDiscovery

For whatever reason, a number of law firms remain resistant to adopting electronic discovery  (eDiscovery) services (perhaps driven by the fear of high costs). Yet, there’s no denying that the landscape of legal technology has changed rapidly over the past few years, and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. EDiscovery is not necessarily cost-prohibitive and you don’t need to settle your case because you think you can’t afford the eDiscovery.

eDiscovery

Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t let eDiscovery hold you or your case hostage:

1. Your clients have a ton of discoverable information but it’s all in digital format.

As you begin manual discovery and review on a case, perhaps you realize there’s very little physical evidence. That’s because no one bothers to print out emails anymore; instead, you’ll have to access electronically stored information (ESI) directly.

2. You’re involved in a case where opposing counsel already has extensive eDiscovery resources.

Being faced with an opponent who embraces eDiscovery could cost you your case. Electronic discovery allows for a more streamlined, sensible approach to discovery efforts compared to traditional methods. This gives the definitive upper hand to whichever party can maximize its potential.

3. Someone requests something “in native format.”

That seems easy enough… except when the native format in question is from a program that’s six years old and is now defunct. How can you handle files in native format now?

4. You need to figure out if your client has any ESI that’s relevant to the current case.

Not only do you need to verify whether your client has any relevant ESI tucked away, you also need a sensible, time-effective method to scan and categorize all those bits and bytes.

5. Opposing counsel subpoenas your client’s service provider (email host, Facebook, etc.) for discoverable data.

If opposing counsel specifically requests access to ESI, you simply can’t afford to be unprepared yourself. Don’t wait until you’re up against the wall to retain a knowledgeable electronic discovery vendor.

6. There are way too many documents to go through.

In a lawsuit that spans months or years, the volume of discoverable documentation can be immense. Yet, time still needs to be of the essence when it comes to discovery efforts. Electronic discovery can save money and man hours almost exponentially compared to traditional discovery.

7. You have to convert tons of physical documentation into searchable, electronic data.

Electronic discovery vendors have the right equipment and knowledge base to convert large volumes of physical documentation into a far more easily searchable format.

8. You’re tired of telling people you’re not equipped to handle eDiscovery.

As more and more business is conducted digitally, the majority of clients need representation that can provide electronic discovery. It’s time to accept that eDiscovery is becoming status quo.

9. The projected costs of traditional discovery sends your client looking elsewhere for representation.

Traditional discovery methods add up quickly, especially in a big case. While electronic discovery can also be expensive, the costs are much lower comparatively. Adopting new methods now can help you keep your clients’ costs much more manageable.

10. The Court orders you to.

Sound far-fetched? In Multiven, Inc. v. Cisco Sys. (2010), that’s exactly what happened. The Plaintiff insisted on using traditional review and, as a result, was unable to complete discovery by the cutoff date. The Court said discovery was taking “…far too long and a new method for this review and production is needed.” The Defendant was then ordered to engage an eDiscovery vendor and split the total costs with the Plaintiff. In short, even the Court knows that traditional discovery is going the way of the dinosaur.

A Quick Information Governance Cheat Sheet

A Quick Information Governance Cheat Sheet

The sheer volume of digital data that’s handled on a daily basis in this day and age demands a strong information governance strategy for any company. Yet, it seems like there are so many ins and outs that even a conservative approach is daunting at best. This leaves a number of organizations to adopt a “head in the sand” approach toward IG, which is definitely a bad idea in the long run. IG is certainly comprehensive, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Here’s a quick cheat sheet as an overview of the elements that matter most when it comes to IG.

IG Should Tackle the Full Life Cycle Information Governance

Information governance isn’t just about how data is archived in deep storage, or keeping an access log of protected files. Instead, IG needs to cover every phase of the data life cycle, from inception all the way through storage or deletion. This needs to be true for all types of data, not just across one or two categories.

IG Meets Compliance Requirements

More industries these days are bound by industry regulations with regards to accessing and storing sensitive data. This is true for the credit card industry, those in healthcare or any merchant that processes online payments. A solid IG plan, planned correctly, will help ensure that companies are meeting the necessary compliance requirements for their industry.

Establish Internal IG Policies

Any company who is revamping an existing data management plan or implementing a new one from scratch should not forget that the active and willing participation of employees and management is essential for success. Be sure to give every employee a thorough overview of any new policies or procedures, and that they receive the necessary training in order to carry them out.

Don’t Forget Social Media

All too often, companies look at their internal data trails and forget to develop policies that apply to the world outside the office. With social media becoming an ever-more essential component of ediscovery and litigation, it’s important for companies to include social media platforms in their information governance plan… even if it’s as simple as to say “Don’t sign into Facebook at the office.”

Customize as Needed

Every organization’s needs are a little bit different when it comes to establishing information governance. This renders off-the-shelf solutions ineffectual for the vast majority of companies. No matter how tempting it may be, there aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to developing an effective IG strategy. Customize as needed to address any unique internal needs or vulnerabilities.

The Secret to IG Success

There really isn’t one solitary component that’s responsible for the success of a information governance program. Instead, the secret is to customize an approach toward managing your organization’s data in a way that meets your specific needs. This includes not only those items in storage, but also newly created data and information in transit. IG should help ensure that organizations meet any compliance regulations, while still meshing as seamlessly as possible with existing policies and processes wherever possible. In the end, the right strategy toward information governance can offer not just a heightened level of organization, but also protection in case of litigation and a more sensible way to manage data.

50 Top Twitter Accounts Legal Professionals Should Follow

50 Top Twitter Accounts Legal Professionals Should Follow

Twitter has become an invaluable source of information for those in the legal industry due to its up-to-the-minute flow and variety of sources available.  Trying to figure out the best sources of information can be a challenge, so we have taken the liberty of researching and compiling a list our top 50 Twitter accounts that legal professionals should follow.

And, of course, don’t forget to add to that list! Legal Professionals on Twitter

The Essentials

  1. American Bar (@ABAesq): The official Twitter feed of the American Bar Association.
  2. ABA Journal (@ABAJournal): Industry news from the ABA.
  3. ABA Litigation (@ABALitigation): ABA tweets just for litigators.
  4. The Am Law Daily‏ (@AmLawDaily): The go-to Twitter feed for basic legal news.
  5. AP Courtside Seat (@AP_Courtside): Associated Press coverage of active cases in the Supreme Court.
  6. Bloomberg Law (@BloombergLaw): A comprehensive resource for the legal industry.
  7. Harvard Law School (@Harvard_Law): The official Twitter feed of Harvard Law.
  8. Justia.com (@justiacom): Access to an impressive (free) collection of case law and other invaluable resources.
  9. Legal Times (@Legal_Times): Covers legal and lobbying news from the nation’s capital.
  10. Legal Current (@legalcurrent): Tweets issues related to the business and practice of the law rather than current events.
  11. Law.com (@lawdotcom): Tweets from the web’s primary online legal network.
  12. LexisNexis (@LexisNexis): LexisNexis® is an indispensible resource for legal professionals.
  13. National Law Review (@natlawreview): A free online resource for legal articles.
  14. Stanford Law (@stanfordlaw): Official Twitter account for Stanford Law.
  15. U.S. Supreme Court (@ussupremecourt): The official feed for the United States Supreme Court.
  16. Yale Law Library (@yalelawlibrary): Legal resources and case discussion from Yale’s Law Library.

News, Blogs & Commentary

  1. Above the Law (@atlblog): The latest industry news and trends; a must-read.
  2. Adam Liptak (@adamliptak): The Pulitzer Prize winning Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times.
  3. Alison Frankel (@AlisonFrankel): Excellent analysis from the author of Reuters’ On the Case blog.
  4. Attorney at Work (@attnyatwork): Only one tweet per day, but always to a great read.
  5. Bryan A. Garner (@BryanAGarner): Tips just for legal writing.
  6. Chrissie Scelsi (@PunkLawyer): A specialist in entertainment law.
  7. Corporette (@Corporette): A lifestyle blog geared toward female professionals.
  8. David Lat (@DavidLat): The founder of Above the Law.
  9. FindLawLP ‏(@FindLawLP):  A well-known legal industry blog that includes a little bit of everything.
  10. Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin): Toobin covers Supreme Court stories for the New Yorker.
  11. Inside Counsel (@InsideCounsel): Blog posts specifically for in-house attorneys.
  12. Lawyerist.com (@lawyerist): Recognized as the essential survival guide for lawyers.
  13. Legal Rebels (@LegalRebels): A fresh new take on the legal profession.
  14. Legal Week (@LegalWeek): Another general newsfeed for legal professionals.
  15. Ms. JD‏ (@msjdtweets): Geared toward women, but universal practical tips for any law students or entry-level associates.
  16. Nina Totenberg (@NinaTotenberg): The legal affair correspondent for NPR.
  17. Volokh Conspiracy (‏@VolokhC): Tweets of VC’s latest blog posts.
  18. WSJ Law Blog (@WSJlawblog): Trending legal news from The Wall Street Journal.

eDiscovery & Tech

  1. Advanced Discovery (@AdvDiscovery): Tweets about all aspects of how legal technology can affect case outcome.
  2. Clearwell (@clearwell): One of the most well-known names in eDiscovery and legal tech.
  3. David Horrigan (@DavidHorrigan): An eDiscovery analyst and former reporter.
  4. eDiscovery Journal (eDiscJournal): Tweets from major thought leaders in eDiscovery and IG.
  5. Info Governance (@InfoGovernance ): Blog posts on news in eDiscovery and IG.
  6. Joshua Gilliland (@bowtielaw): An attorney’s perspective on the intersection of law and technology.
  7. Legal IT News (@LegalIT): Breaking legal technology news.
  8. Mary Mack (@mackmary): Mack is a prominent coder who talks about legal technology..
  9. MER Conference (@MERconference): Tweets from the Managing Electronic Records (MER) Conference, scheduled for May 19-21 2014.

Just for Fun

  1. Arthur Lien (@Courtartist): Lien is a court cartoonist, giving the outside world a visual when photos aren’t allowed.
  2. Bitter Lawyer (@BitterLawyer): A wry, entertaining Lawyerist blog.
  3. Law School Humor (@LawSchoolHumor): There are plenty of jokes to be had at the expense of law students.
  4. Overlawyered (@overlawyered): Points out some of the most glaring gaffes in the legal profession.
  5. Pope Hat (@Popehat): An unexpected combination of insightful analysis and hilarity.
  6. SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog): A favorite source for a sarcastic twist on Supreme Court coverage.
  7. Supreme Court Haiku (@SupremeHaiku): Supreme Court opinions, but delivered in traditional haiku format.